Prime meridian
Prime Prime, a. [F., fr. L. primus first, a superl. corresponding to the compar. prior former. See {Prior}, a., {Foremost}, {Former}, and cf. {Prim}, a., {Primary}, {Prince}.] 1. First in order of time; original; primeval; primitive; primary. ``Prime forests.'' --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

She was not the prime cause, but I myself. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Note: In this sense the word is nearly superseded by primitive, except in the phrase prime cost. [1913 Webster]

2. First in rank, degree, dignity, authority, or importance; as, prime minister. ``Prime virtues.'' --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

3. First in excellence; of highest quality; as, prime wheat; a prime quality of cloth. [1913 Webster]

4. Early; blooming; being in the first stage. [Poetic] [1913 Webster]

His starry helm, unbuckled, showed him prime In manhood where youth ended. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

5. Lecherous; lustful; lewd. [Obs.] --Shak. [1913 Webster]

6. Marked or distinguished by a mark (') called a prime mark. [1913 Webster]

7. (Math.) (a) Divisible by no number except itself or unity; as, 7 is a prime number. (b) Having no common factor; -- used with to; as, 12 is prime to 25. [Webster 1913 Suppl.]

{Prime and ultimate ratio}. (Math.). See {Ultimate}.

{Prime conductor}. (Elec.) See under {Conductor}.

{Prime factor} (Arith.), a factor which is a prime number.

{Prime figure} (Geom.), a figure which can not be divided into any other figure more simple than itself, as a triangle, a pyramid, etc.

{Prime meridian} (Astron.), the meridian from which longitude is reckoned, as the meridian of Greenwich or Washington.

{Prime minister}, the responsible head of a ministry or executive government; applied particularly to that of England.

{Prime mover}. (Mech.) (a) A natural agency applied by man to the production of power. Especially: Muscular force; the weight and motion of fluids, as water and air; heat obtained by chemical combination, and applied to produce changes in the volume and pressure of steam, air, or other fluids; and electricity, obtained by chemical action, and applied to produce alternation of magnetic force. (b) An engine, or machine, the object of which is to receive and modify force and motion as supplied by some natural source, and apply them to drive other machines; as a water wheel, a water-pressure engine, a steam engine, a hot-air engine, etc. (c) Fig.: The original or the most effective force in any undertaking or work; as, Clarkson was the prime mover in English antislavery agitation.

{Prime number} (Arith.), a number which is exactly divisible by no number except itself or unity, as 5, 7, 11.

{Prime vertical} (Astron.), the vertical circle which passes through the east and west points of the horizon.

{Prime-vertical dial}, a dial in which the shadow is projected on the plane of the prime vertical.

{Prime-vertical transit instrument}, a transit instrument the telescope of which revolves in the plane of the prime vertical, -- used for observing the transit of stars over this circle. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Prime Meridian — 0° Prime Meridian …   Wikipedia

  • prime meridian — Meridian Me*rid i*an, n. [F. m[ e]ridien. See {Meridian}, a.] [1913 Webster] 1. Midday; noon. [1913 Webster] 2. Hence: The highest point, as of success, prosperity, or the like; culmination. [1913 Webster] I have touched the highest point of all… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prime meridian — n. the meridian from which longitude is measured both east and west; 0° longitude: it passes through Greenwich, England: see LATITUDE …   English World dictionary

  • prime meridian — noun meridian at zero degree longitude from which east and west are reckoned (usually the Greenwich longitude in England) • Hypernyms: ↑meridian, ↑line of longitude • Instance Hyponyms: ↑Greenwich Meridian * * * noun the prime meridian : an… …   Useful english dictionary

  • prime meridian — prime′ merid′ian n. geo the meridian running through Greenwich, England, from which longitude east and west is reckoned • Etymology: 1860–65 …   From formal English to slang

  • Prime Meridian — Prime Me|rid|i|an the imaginary line drawn from north to south on the earth, from which east and west are measured in degrees on a map …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • prime meridian — noun Date: circa 1859 the meridian of 0 degrees longitude which runs through the original site of the Royal Observatory at Greenwich, England, and from which other longitudes are reckoned …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • prime meridian — the meridian running through Greenwich, England, from which longitude east and west is reckoned. [1860 65] * * * …   Universalium

  • prime meridian — noun The reference line at 0° longitude, passing through Greenwich, England, from which longitude east and west is measured. Syn: Greenwich meridian …   Wiktionary

  • prime meridian — The meridian passing through Greenwich (UK). It is longitude 0°. See longitude …   Aviation dictionary

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